AL!VE is the culmination of several years of collaboration between Hayes Green Beach Hospital and the local community in Charlotte, Michigan, to develop an innovative, experiential health and wellness concept. Born out of a fairly simple need for the local hospital to expand medical services, AL!VE is an integrated approach to healthcare that seeks to promote true lifestyle change.
While some traditional hospital services are located within the new facility, its founders and numerous supporters will tell you that AL!VE is first and foremost a unique experience. And the built environment is a direct response to the experiences that will be created there.
The facility houses a number of the components we’ve come to expect in a wellness facility, like state-of-the-art exercise equipment and indoor walking paths. But these are just components of a much more comprehensive program that recognizes there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to good health.
Extensive research helped to identify some of the most common barriers to goal achievement, allowing the 73,000-square-foot facility to be designed with those in mind. Personal guides, called “creationaires,” are available to develop member profiles that identify broad life goals, uncover real barriers to meeting those goals, and then define individualized plans that may or may not incorporate a visit to the gym as the best approach for achieving greater health and wellbeing.
A big opportunity for a small community
Charlotte is a small town with a population of less than 10,000. Larger communities typically address the gamut of needs addressed by AL!VE through a whole host of individual opportunities: health clubs, rehab clinics, spas, indoor walking trails at the YMCA, healthy cooking classes at the local community college, etc.
But AL!VE not only offers a holistic “mind, body, soul” approach to wellness, it leverages the infrastructure of a single facility to afford this small community a comprehensive collection of services that simply couldn’t be supported on a one-off basis. A great but simple example is the indoor walking trail, available free of charge to anyone in the community. Few if any other indoor walking trails or opportunities exist in Charlotte—not even an indoor mall.
Breaking down barriers
Critical to the success of AL!VE will be the ability to break down common barriers to achieving health and wellbeing. Much work has gone into designing the facility, training staff, and developing programming that helps people overcome the obstacles to getting—and staying—healthy. For example: